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Geography of Journal Authors

Stratum plus. 1999. № 6

S. V. Beletski (St.-Petersburg, Russia)

Ruriks’ Symbols on the Drohiczyn’s Leads (According to K.V. Bolsunowski’s Code)




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Pages: 288-330


Symbols of bidentate or trident shape can be met on various objects in Russia: seals, leads, weapons, works of art, decorations, work tools, pottery and building ceramics. These symbols are usually dated by X-XIII centuries and connected with the Russian princes of Rurik’s family: a dynasty of Rurik’s progeny reigning in Russia. Unfortunately, major part of the known Ruriks’ symbols still remain nameless. The main task faced by a researcher of the most ancient Russian heraldry consists in collecting, systematising and personifying the princes’ symbols. The most important group of Ancient Russian heraldic artefacts are the leads found in Drohiczyn, an ancient Russian town, known from the chronicles since the mid XII century, nowadays a Polish town Drohiczyn Nadbóżski. Over eight thousand of leads were found there, most of them, however, unpublished. So far, K.V. Bolsunowski’s Code has been the best publication (1894), which served as a basis for writing this article. The article deals with classification and systematisation of symbols on the Drohiczyn leads. The symbols are compared with the Khazars’, Mongolian and Tatars’ tamga, Polish emblems, as well as with Ruriks’ signs found on other territories of the Ancient Russian state. The symbols on the Drohiczyn leads are qualified as component part of the Ancient Russian princes’ heraldry. It is established that most of the symbols on the Drohiczyn leads are not met outside Drohiczyn itself: evidently, they belonged, mainly, to the small West Russian princes, whose activity was not known to the rest of Russia. A number of common Russian symbols were personified: it is the symbol of Vladimir Monomakh, his elder son Mstislav Veliki (the Great), as well as the symbols of the son and the grandson of Mstislav Veliki – Vsevolod Mstislavich and Vladimir Vsevolodich.


 

 

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